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FOOD POLICY ACTION MAKES CONGRESSMAN STEVE SOUTHERLAND ITS #1 CAMPAIGN TARGET

FOOD POLICY ACTION MAKES CONGRESSMAN STEVE SOUTHERLAND ITS #1 CAMPAIGN TARGET

By | October 1st, 2014 | Press Releases - Food Policy Action |


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2014 Contact: Claire Benjamin (202) 631-6362 claire@foodpolicyaction.org GROUP SAYS SOUTHERLAND’S RECORD ON SENSIBLE FOOD POLICIES IS ROTTEN Washington, D.C. – Today, Food Policy Action announced that Congressman Steve Southerland of Florida’s Second Congressional District will be the group’s top target for defeat in the upcoming midterm elections. The organization, which is dedicated…


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2014 Contact: Claire Benjamin (202) 631-6362 claire@foodpolicyaction.org GROUP SAYS SOUTHERLAND’S RECORD ON SENSIBLE FOOD POLIC...

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2014
Contact: Claire Benjamin
(202) 631-6362
claire@foodpolicyaction.org

GROUP SAYS SOUTHERLAND’S RECORD ON SENSIBLE FOOD POLICIES IS ROTTEN

Washington, D.C. – Today, Food Policy Action announced that Congressman Steve Southerland of Florida’s Second Congressional District will be the group’s top target for defeat in the upcoming midterm elections. The organization, which is dedicated to educating the public about the votes their elected leaders take on critically important food issues, will devote significant resources in the race as part of a larger, one million dollar effort to hold elected officials accountable for the votes they make related to food quality, accessibility, and sustainability.

“Congressman Southerland has a clear history of voting against sensible food policy and has repeatedly made policy choices that are harmful to families and small farmers,” said Claire Benjamin, Managing Director of Food Policy Action. “His record on food is rotten. We’re letting voters in his district know that Steve Southerland is way past his sell-by date.”

Over the last two years, Southerland has voted multiple times to roll back funding and regulation on food safety, pesticides, nutrition assistance, and healthy food initiatives:

  • Voted against an additional $1 million in funding to protect against E-coli contaminations for the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition [Amendment 420, H.R. 2112, 6/15/2011].
  • Voted to make it easier to discharge pesticides that pollute rivers and other waterways, and to eliminate the need for a permit for such activities [Voted yes on H.R. 935, 07/31/2014].
  • Voted to cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by more than $39 billion, preventing 4 million individuals, including children, seniors, military families, and veterans from receiving critical nutrition assistance [H.R. 3102, 9/19/2013].
  • Voted to eliminate the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) and to end support for projects that increase access to healthy and affordable food in low-income communities [Amendment 30, H.R. 1947, 6/20/2013].

Southerland was also credited for being singularly responsible for blocking the 2013 Farm Bill from passage. Southerland’s SNAP work requirement amendment would have given cash incentives to states for kicking SNAP recipients off the program who have not been able to find work. This was not only bad policy, it also caused the whole process to grind to a halt.

  • According to the Southeast Farm Press, Southerland amendment “was key to the bill’s failure Thursday.” [Southeast Farm Press, 6/25/13].
  • Politico reported “the farm bill has been a beacon of bipartisanship in an increasingly rough-and-tumble chamber. The defeat of Thursday’s version was propelled by the adoption of Florida GOP Rep. Steve Southerland’s amendment to institute work requirements for recipients of food stamps.” [Politico, 6/20/13].
  • The Sunshine State News also reported that “Some disappointed House Republicans are blaming Florida colleague Steve Southerland for losing 195-234, a five-year farm bill leadership badly wanted.” [Sunshine State News, 6/20/13].

In order to hold Congressman Southerland accountable for his terrible record, Food Policy Action will conduct a targeted voter turnout program, including telephone calls and digital ads, focused on educating drop-off voters about Southerland’s abysmal voting record on food policy.

“Congressman Southerland is out of step with voters on the importance of common sense food policy. Parents and young voters will not stand for his continued disregard for the health and safety of the food that feeds our families,” said Benjamin.

About Food Policy Action
Food Policy Action was established in 2012 through a collaboration of national food policy leaders in order to hold legislators accountable on votes that have an effect on food and farming. Our goal is to change the national dialogue on food policy by educating the public on how elected officials are voting on these issues. Through education and the National Food Policy Scorecard, more people will be armed with the information they need to vote with their forks and elect more food policy leaders across the country.

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Food Policy Action's Mission / Our Mission

Our mission is to highlight the importance of food policy and to promote policies that support healthy diets, reduce hunger at home and abroad, improve food access and affordability, uphold the rights and dignity of food and farm workers, increase transparency, improve public health, reduce the risk of food-borne illness, support local and regional food systems, protect and maintain sustainable fisheries, treat farm animals humanely and reduce the environmental impact of farming and food production. Food Policy Action promotes positive policies through education and publication of the National Food Policy Scorecard.

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